Mixed fortunes among PC vendors have seen PC shipments fall by 8.6 percent to 80.3 million in the third quarter of 2013. This was the sixth quarter of decline in a row for the PC market.
The figures from research firm Gartner are disappointing for the market as they come during the so called ‘back-to-school’ quarter when people are usually more willing, or required, to splash out on new devices. Tablet sales are said to be eroding PC demand, especially in emerging markets where cheap Android devices are popular.
However, the dire performance of Asus and Acer appears to have hidden modest gains for giants such as Dell, Lenovo and HP selling to the business market.
Worldwide, Lenovo saw a slight quarter-on-quarter growth of 2.8 percent, with sales rising from 13.7 million to 14.1 million, taking it just ahead of HP in the global market. HP saw shipments rise 1.5 percent to 13.7 million, while Dell saw a modest one percent rise in shipments to 9.3 million.
Meanwhile, Acer and Asus seemed to be responsible for the overall slump, with shipments down 22.6 percent and 22.5 percent to 6.6 million and 4.9 million units, respectively.
The European market showed similar trends, although not quite so rosy for all manufacturers. Overall shipments fell from 26 million last year to 22.4 million this year. Asus and Asus again contributed most to this fall, with shipments falling by 30.4 percent and 30.3 percent respectively to 1.8 and 2.3 million.
Dell saw a 6.2 percent slump and HP a 2.1 drop, although it actually grew market share by 2.3 percent to 19.6 percent due to the slumps suffered by other vendors. Only Lenovo showed any increase, with an impressive rise of 18.6 percent to shipments of 3.2 million units.
Ranjit Atwell, research director at Gartner, told V3 that the moderate growth seen by HP, Dell and Lenovo was due to their push in the enterprise markets where demand for PCs and laptops remains higher.
“The consumer side is where the real weakness is and that’s why it is hitting Asus and Acer, as tablet demand is very high and there is a lack of really good new PC products out there enticing consumers,” he said.
“We’re also at a Windows 7 migration point as Windows XP enters its final stages so there is a chance there to sell to organisations who haven’t quite moved yet, although that is a short term window.”
Windows XP support is set to end in April 2014, with many organisations yet to plan for a move away from the ageing platform to a newer operating system, potentially leaving them open to security threats. Firms are being urged to start considering how to make the move as soon as possible.
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